Goldfish and Koi Ponds and Gardens – How to Care for Them

May 12, 2012 by

The Benefits of a Fish Pond

fish pond gardenIf you choose to have a pond or a water feature as part of your landscaping or your garden, you are probably also going to want to have some fish. Fish doesn’t have to be very expensive, but they are a great way to complement your fish pond garden, and they also provide natural fertilizer for water plants, and they help to get rid of mosquitoes and other insects.

Choosing Your Fish

The two most common types of fish that people like to have in their ponds are goldfish and koi. Goldfish tend to be a bit easier to maintain, and they are generally less expensive.


Koi get longer than goldfish. They can be up to 24 inches long. Koi also have exotic coloring. Most of the time Koi fish are not too expensive to buy, but you can find Koi that are incredibly expensive which involves a higher maintenance than goldfish. They typically eat more, and produce more waste. Cory will also eat your plants, so you need to use hardy plants that can repair themselves. Whether you have quarter goldfish, you need to be careful that you do not over feed them.


Single tailed goldfish are the more hardy than double tail goldfish. They can grow up to 12 inches long, and do well in water temperatures that are between 40 and 80°F. Some of your double tailed goldfish are a lot prettier, and they’re going to see a lot smaller, but they can only tolerate temperatures between 50 and 75°. The advantage of getting a goldfish instead of a Koi is that you can often buy them for less than a dollar. Even fancy goldfish are generally less than $10.

koi pond care

How to Integrate Goldfish and Koi into Your Fish Pond

If you are bringing your fish home from the store, you want to make sure that they become accustomed to the temperature of the water before throwing them in your pond. The best way to do this is to fill up a 5 gallon bucket halfway with your pond water. Then, put your bag of fish into the bucket and allow them to be there for an hour. Then, open up the bag and add more water to the bucket ( be careful not to fill close to the top, because you don’t want your fish to jump out). After about an hour, your fish should be accustomed to the water. Once this happens,  pour fish carefully into your pond.

You need to be very careful not to over feed your fish. The best type of feed to use is one that just stays on the surface. Sprinkle the quarry or goldfish on the surface of the pond. Then after a few minutes, remove the uneaten food. When outwards in the temperatures are above 50°, you will probably want to feed your fish small amount of food regularly. Once temperatures drop below 50°, you may not even have to feed your fish at all. When it’s colder, fish move around a lot less and use less energy. In addition, fish can often find food for themselves by foraging off of plants that are in your pond.

During the winter, you may be all right leaving your fish in your pond, as long as you have a heater that provides an air hole for gases to escape and reached the service of the water. Usually, these are available for sale anywhere where water features or fish supplies are available.

Make sure to clean your fish pond out regularly. Do not use any strong cleaners that contain chlorine or bleach. Rather, it is a better idea to use a filtering device, and then just clean out there. Like leaves with a scoop net when they fall into your fish pond.

Problems with Predators

fish pond gardensAs a landscaper, I noticed that one of the most common problems people had with stalking their fish ponds is that the local neighborhood cats, possums, birds, and skunks would take advantage of it. To them, it is pretty easy fishing. This jump in a shallow pond and grab a colorful fish. If you have problems with these types of predators, you may want to put a netting over your pond. Another good idea is to give your fish somewhere to hide.

Winter care For Your Fish Pond

If you want your fish to be well maintain in your pond, you need to have ponds that are at least 3 to 4 feet deep. Make sure that you use a heater so that you can always maintain a hole between that surface air and the pond water underneath. Another option is to overwinter your fish indoors. You can usually put them in an aquarium with a light, a filter and aerator. You also may want to overwinter your pond plants. This will keep them alive so that you can use them next year. A great place to store them over the winter is in your garage, or in an indoor aquarium.

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